When does an illness become a disease? When the underlying biological abnormalities that cause the symptoms and signs of the illness are clarified.
The illness now called myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) was first described in the mid-1980s. At that time, nothing was known about its underlying biology. Indeed, because many standard laboratory test results were normal, some clinicians explained to patients that “there is nothing wrong.” There was, of course, an alternative explanation: the standard laboratory tests might not have been the right tests to identify the underlying abnormalities.
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.
Komaroff AL. Advances in Understanding the Pathophysiology of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. JAMA. 2019;322(6):499–500. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.8312
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: